2018 saw the launch of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), a collaborative initiative between financial services regulators around the world, designed to enable better understanding and testing of innovative products and technologies across multiple jurisdictions. The idea is for GFIN to provide a forum for sharing knowledge, practical learning and growing experience to enable consistent application of regulation. This will include cross-border testing projects, aimed at areas such as financial inclusion, consumer protection, stability and financial integrity.
The launch of GFIN follows a successful year for the “sandbox” initiative that the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK brought to market around a year ago. Following a period of consultation and review at the end of last year on its mission and primary functions, GFIN formally launched in January 2019.
Consisting of 29 regulators and interested organisations from around the world, GFIN currently has a number of additional applications for membership and includes many of the world’s most influential and leading regulatory bodies. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group are involved as observers.
Guernsey’s Financial Services Commission (GFSC) was one of the founding members and sits on the Coordination Group, charged with developing policy and initiatives to progress GFIN’s goals. This appointment is recognition of the GFSC’s support for tech and disruptive initiatives, which are starting to transform Guernsey business. It is a real coup for the GFSC to be so well positioned in terms of the global regulatory marketplace going forwards. The regulators from Jersey, Isle of Man, Bermuda and Hong Kong are all members. Membership applications from regulators in some of our other jurisdictions are pending.
The first cross-border testing project has been launched and those who wish to take advantage of the opportunity must apply by 28 February 2019. If you wish to test in a number of jurisdictions, then applications to each relevant regulator will need to be submitted. Given the timescales involved, it will be important to have ready access to cross-jurisdictional support in order to meet these deadlines. We anticipate that the process and requirements will streamline going forwards, as the initiative grows.
Appleby has been involved in various ways in supporting the initiative since the consultation process, providing feedback and support to our respective local regulators as they scope out the opportunities GFIN will bring. This has involved meeting with a range of industry professionals and the regulators and sharing ideas as to how GFIN might benefit our jurisdictions, each of which has their own niche speciality skillsets and industry sectors.
We recently launched our Global Tech & Innovation Guide, demonstrating that as a firm, we are well positioned to assist the GFIN initiative. Our team regularly work across jurisdictions in order to achieve the best structures, share experience and access relevant expertise for the benefit of our clients. We look forward to sharing our experience and developing our network further in support of the GFIN project.
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